Most of those who know my happy little family already know that we have been attending beekeeping classes for the last couple of weeks. It has really been such a blessing to have this opportunity in so many more ways than what I had anticipated that I just had to take a minute to record it on my blog for all of my "folks back home" to share with us.
It all started because of Fred. Our sweet little Fred has wanted to be a beekeeper since she was about 7 years old. I have no idea what sparked the interest for her other than a real love for honey on fresh biscuits .... y'all know how Fred loves to eat right? It seemed that just as soon as she understood that bees make honey she wanted to raise bees. At first her daddy and I thought it was just one of those cute little kid stages and she would get over it ....... well, she didn't. Every year she asked if she was old enough yet. Since she just turned 14 and we finally have a place that would be a great place for her to get started in this new (and very interesting) pursuit we consented and prayed that the Lord would make it possible. God answered every prayer and has met every single need to make it possible not only for us to attend the classes that are 2 hours away from home, but also to provide her first bees and equipment without much cost to us at all!! So we were all just basking in the goodness of the Lord and being thankful that He saw fit to allow us to attend the classes and arranged for us to be able to get so much of the equipment that Fred would need to keep bees and the bees themselves when all sorts of unexpected answers to prayer and extra blessings began coming around!
We had been praying for Caleb in his schooling for some time. He is a really smart kid but he gets bored so easily with studying and will do nearly anything to distract himself from reading or writing ..... enter the beekeeping classes. Now we can't get the books and study guides out of his hands long enough to study them ourselves, he is spelling words that I thought were far out of his reach and he is determined to take the state certification test just to see how he does ( he may do better on it than I will!). He is constantly quizzing all of us and begging us to quiz him. Here I had been sitting in the classes thinking that most of what was being taught was far over the boys' heads and all along they are both absorbing much more than I could ever have hoped for.
We had also been praying for something that our family could do together that would be a self supporting pursuit but would give each of us an opportunity to put our individual talents to work for a collective cause. We used to do that on the dairy farm and after we moved away from there our family really began to feel sort of fragmented in a strange sort of way. Now the closer we get to actually having the bees the more excited our whole family becomes. We have all found ways that we can each participate and it is amazing how much more Fred and all the rest of us enjoy the whole beekeeping pursuit now that we can each see how we need each other to participate in different ways.
For example .... I'm scared of bees (sort of, I get a little ill from bee stings) but I can make soaps, lotions and candles from the wax and honey. I can extract the honey and help work on the frames etc without ever having to be near the bees. Troy and the boys (aside from hoping to someday have their own hives) are working on plans to improve the hive bodies and frames to make them more lightweight and efficient for Troy and Taeler to work. Troy also has some really good ideas about how to build alot of the different tools that are used and possibly marketing some of them. Taeler and I are carefully planning our flower and veggie planting this year to make more time for "bee crops" hoping to keep the bees in a good quality supply of pollen as far into the fall as we can. It is kind of hard to illustrate here but the folks who know us best have seen how our family pulls together as one to do things and the beekeeping endeavor has turned out to really pull this family even closer.
Another special sort of blessing that has come from all of this has been just exposing the kids to the world under very controlled circumstances. I have to admit that I was terribly nervous about taking them to these classes. I was concerned about exposing them to anything that taught evolution even if only a little bit ...... I have been so happy to hear my kids say to me or each other "that's not true" when something gets even close to hinting to evolution. It has been so encouraging to me to see first hand how they react to the lies that are presented as fact so often in our society. It's also been a real blessing to have the opportunity to be with the kids as they are exposed to other people who may try to sway their faith and see how firmly they stand for the truth that is taught in God's word! I can't begin to describe the joy of knowing that they hold the truth in their hearts and to see how they are learning to challenge the lies around them.
So that's today's update. We're still here and still blessed and full of joy! I hope all of you have a wonderful day.